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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Curdiea angustata (Sonder) Millar 1990: 342.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gracilariales – Family Gracilariaceae

Selected citations: Millar & Kraft 1993: 27.


Epymenia angustata Sonder 1853: 677. J. Agardh 1892: 94. De Toni 1900b: 529. Harvey 1863, synop.: xlv. Wilson 1892: 178.

Gracilaria callophyllis Areschoug 1854: 350.

Curdiea callophyllis (Areschoug) Fredericq in Fredericq & Hommersand 1989a: 224.

Curdiea laciniata Harvey 1855b: 333; 1858: pl. 39. J. Agardh 1876: 402. Chapman 1979: 306, pl. 114(?). De Toni 1900b: 424. Guiler 1952: 89. Kützing 1869: 12, pl. 33c, d. Kylin 1932: 60. Levring 1945: 17. Lucas 1929a: 18; 1929b: 49. May 1965: 408. Reinbold 1897: 52. Tisdall 1898: 508. Wilson 1892: 176. Womersley 1950: 169.

Curdiea meredithiae J. Agardh 1876: 403. De Toni 1900b: 425. Guiler 1952: 89. Kylin 1932: 60, pl. 23 fig. 57. Lucas 1929a: 18. May 1965: 408.

Curdiea kuetzingiana J. Agardh 1896: 95. Kylin 1932: 60, pl. 23 fig. 58. May 1965: 408.

Curdiea engelhartii J. Agardh 1901: 105. De Toni 1924: 248. Kylin 1932: 60, pl. 24 fig. 59. Levring 1945: 17. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 186. May 1965: 408.

Thallus (Fig. 12A) medium to dark red-brown, 20–60 cm high, drying cartilaginous, 0.5–1 (–1.5) mm thick, complanately, marginally and irregularly branched, often with marginal proliferations (sometimes mostly unilateral), main branches 5–30 (–50) mm broad, lesser branches and proliferations usually 2–10 mm broad and 1–4 (–8) cm long, usually basally constricted. Holdfast discoid, 2–10 mm across, with one to a few stipes; epilithic. Structure multiaxial, pseudoparenchymatous (Fig. 12B) throughout, with a cortex 2–4 cells thick, outer cells 3–6 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2, becoming thicker below with anticlinal rows of elongate cells, grading inwards to a medulla of large ovoid cells 80–150 µm in diameter with thick walls (becoming 15–25 µm thick) and numerous, prominent, secondary pit-connections. Rhodoplasts discoid, numerous per cell.

Reproduction: Gametangial thalli dioecious. Female plants with 2-celled carpogonial branches borne near branch margins on mid cortical supporting cells with closely adjacent cortical filaments. Carposporophytes (Fig. 12C) with a dense gonimoblast reticulum and small basal fusion cell(s), producing a dense upper mass of erect gonimoblast filaments terminating in straight chains (Fig. 12D) of numerous subspherical to ovoid carposporangia 10–14 µm in diameter, maturing apically. Cystocarps marginal, usually in long series, prominent, globose, sessile or slightly basally constricted, 1–1.5 mm across; pericarp (Fig. 12C) massive, with inner tangentially elongate cells (continuing around base of the carposporophyte) and a medulla and cortex similar to the vegetative tissue, with a small ostiole lined by short cells cut off from the medullary pericarp cells. Spermatangia (Fig. 12E) in surface sori, cut off via elongate initials from outer cortical cells.

Tetrasporangial nemathecia (Fig. 12F) shallow, inconspicuous, on upper branches; tetrasporangia basally pit-connected to subapical cells of 4–5-celled paraphyses 100–140 µm long, end cells clavate and 3–8 µm in diameter, sporangia clavate to ovoid, 20–25 µm long and 10–15 µm in diameter, cruciately divided.

Type from Gulf St Vincent, S. Aust. (Mueller); holotype in MEL, 670225.

Selected specimens: Hamelin Bay, W. Aust., drift (Royce 712, 21.vi.1950; AD, A15490). Elliston, S. Aust., 20 m deep outside bar (Shepherd, 14.v.1971; AD, A38696). Port Elliot, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 24.vii.1949; AD, A11102). Middleton, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 14.xi.1965; AD, A29684). 13 km S of Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 50–70 m deep (Latz, 24.xi.1968; AD, A32998). Robe, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 15.iv.1994; AD, A63540). Cape Lannes, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 31.x.1993; AD, A63260). Stinky Bay, Nora Creina, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 25.v.1963; AD, A26519). 400 m off Cape Buffon, S. Aust., 5 m deep (Collings, 25.i.1991; AD, A61239). 1.3 km off Middle Point, Cape Northumberland, S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 13.ii.1976; AD, A47003). Warrnambool, Vic., drift (Womersley, 1.ix.1971; AD, A39533). Queenscliff, Vic., drift (Womersley, 8.iv.1959; AD, A22833). Swansea, Tas., drift (Womersley, 19.i.1949; AD, A10223). Port Arthur, Tas., 10–12 m deep (McCauley, 2.iii.1990; AD, A60466). Fluted Cape, Bruny I., Tas., 10 m deep (Shepherd, 11.ii.1972; AD, A41804).

Distribution map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of SA

Distribution: Hamelin Bay, W. Aust., to Collaroy, N.S.W. (Millar & Kraft 1993, p. 27) and around Tasmania.

New Zealand? (Chapman 1979: 306).

Taxonomic notes: Curdiea angustata is very variable in habit, especially in branch width and marginal proliferations. It has been commonly known as C. laciniata Harvey [lectotype from Port Fairy, Vic. (Eddington); in Herb. Harvey, TCD] and includes C. meredithiae J. Agardh [lectotype from Orford, Tas. (Meredith); in Herb. Agardh, LD, 28569], C. kuetzingiana J. Agardh [holotype from Encounter Bay, S. Aust. (Hussey); in Herb. Agardh, LD, 28587] and C. engelhartii J. Agardh [holotype from Lacepede Bay, S. Aust. (Engelhart); in Herb. Agardh, LD, 28582; isotype in MEL, 66734].

The likely identity of Epymenia angustata Sonder and Curdiea laciniata Harvey was first suggested by Harvey (1863, synop.: xlv), followed by De Toni (1900b, p. 529), and made formally by Millar (1990, p. 677). C. angustata is most common on south-east Australian coasts, usually in deep water on rough-water coasts; plants to the west of this region and the N.S.W. record are smaller and slenderer than the robust Victorian -S. Australian plants.

Chapman (1979, p. 306), following other authors, recorded C. laciniata [= C. angustata] from New Zealand and referred to marginal, spherical, cystocarps. This contrasts with C. flabellata Chapman (1979, p. 304) in which cystocarps occur scattered over the thallus surface and partly sunken, and most erect, irregularly branched, New Zealand specimens appear to be C. flabellata. Whether C. angustata does occur in New Zealand remains to be verified.


AGARDH, J.G. (1876). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 1 — Epicrisis systematis Floridearum, pp. i-vii, 1–724. (Weigel: Leipzig.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1892). Analecta Algologica. Acta Univ. lund. 28, 1–182, Plates 1–3.

AGARDH, J.G. (1896). Analecta Algologica. Cont. III. Acta Univ. lund. 32, 1–140, Plate 1.

AGARDH, J.G. (1901). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 4, pp. 1–149. (Gleerup: Lund.)

ARESCHOUG, J.E. (1854). Phyceae novae et minus cognitae in maribus extraeuropaeis collectae. Ups. Soc. Sci. nova Acta, Ser. Ill, 1, 329–372.

CHAPMAN, V.J. (1979). The marine algae of New Zealand. Part III: Rhodophyceae. Issue 4: Gigartinales, pp. 279–509. (Cramer: Germany.)

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DE TONI, G.B. (1924). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 6. Florideae. (Padua.)

FREDERICQ, S. & HOMMERSAND, M.H. (1989a). Proposal of the Gracilariales ord. nov. (Rhodophyta) based on an analysis of the reproductive development of Gracilaria verrucosa. J. Phycol. 25, 213–227.

GUILER, E.R. (1952). The marine algae of Tasmania. Check List with localities. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 86, 71–106.

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HARVEY, W.H. (1858). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 1, Plates 1–60. (Reeve: London.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1863). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 5, Plates 241–300, synop., pp. i-lxxiii. (Reeve: London.)

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KYLIN, H. (1932). Die Florideenordnung Gigartinales. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 28 (8), 1–88, Plates 1–28.

LEVRING, T. (1945). Marine algae from some antarctic and subantarctic Islands. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 41 (7), 1–36, Plate 1.

LUCAS, A.H.S. & PERRIN, F. (1947). The Seaweeds of South Australia. Part 2. The Red Seaweeds. (Govt Printer: Adelaide.)

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MILLAR, A.J.K. & KRAFT, G.T. (1993). Catalogue of Marine and Freshwater Red Algae (Rhodophyta) of New South Wales, including Lord Howe Island, South-western Pacific. Aust. Syst. Bot. 6, 1–90.

MILLAR, A.J.K. (1990). Marine Red Algae of the Coffs Harbour Region, northern New South Wales. Aust. Syst. Bot. 3, 293–593.

REINBOLD, T. (1897). Die Algen der Lacepede und Guichen Bay und deren näherer Umgebung (Süd Australien), gesammelt von Dr. A. Engelhart-Kingston. Nuova Notarisia 8, 41–62.

SONDER, O.W. (1853). Plantae Muellerianae. Algae. Linnaea 25, 657–709.

TISDALL, H.T. (1898). The algae of Victoria. Rep. 7th Meet. Aust. Ass. Adv. Sci., Sydney, 1898, pp. 493–516.

WILSON, J.B. (1892). Catalogue of algae collected at or near Port Phillip Heads and Western Port. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. 4, 157–190.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1950). The marine algae of Kangaroo Island. III. List of Species 1. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 73, 137–197.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIIB complete list of references.

Author: H.B.S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (28 June, 1996)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIIB. Gracilarialse, Rhodymeniales, Corallinales and Bonnemaisoniales
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIIB 1996, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 1996: FIG. 12.

Figure 12 image

Figure 12   enlarge

Fig. 12. Curdiea angustata (A–C, E, AD, A63260; D, AD, A63540; F, AD, A39533). A. Habit. B. Transverse section of thallus. C. Section of cystocarp. D. Section of carposporophyte with carposporangial chains. E. Section of male thallus with a spermatangial sorus. F. Section of tetrasporangial thallus.

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